So You Want to be Strategic

by Nancy Zwiers | 22 Jun 2021

The Bloom Report

So You Want to be Strategic?

Q. How can I ensure I have the best strategy for growing my brand?

A. Many of the people I have worked with think strategy is represented by the words on a page in a PowerPoint marketing plan presentation. What I have learned in 40+ years of classical brand management is that strategy is “the concentration of resources to achieve a competitive advantage.” (Resources can be money, time, focus, space, etc.)

When I was an executive at Mattel and Spin Master, reviewing the annual marketing plans of dozens of brands and sub-brands each year, I tended to gloss over the words on the pages and instead, focused on how the budget was allocated. That was the real strategy.

Brands have a meaningful strategy when they take the risk to make choices to concentrate their resources, instead of spreading them too thin. Too often, we want to check off all the boxes of 360-degree marketing effort, but I have come to realize that budgeting for all the possible consumer touch points is a fool’s errand when it comes to building a brand. 

In today’s marketing landscape, our options for investing are expansive:

·       Product

·       Packaging

·       Merchandising-at shelf

·       Retail Displays

·       Price Discounts

·       Trade advertising

·       Kid TV

·       You Tube

·       Influencers

·       Sampling

·       Public Relations

·       Unboxing Videos

·       Storytelling Content

·       SEO

·       Trade Promotions

·       Consumer Promotions

·       E-commerce “Merchandising”

·       Distribution Channel Diversification

·       Etc. Etc.

When we try to do it all, it’s like spitting in the ocean…we don’t make an impact with our investment. 

Between two marketing plans that have the same overall budget, the one that funds 5 marketing tactics is more strategic than the one that funds 8 or 9 tactics. Said another way: “Sacrifice is the essence of strategy.”

Everyone wants to be strategic. The hard part is being choiceful…being willing to sacrifice options in favor of concentrating resources on a few initiatives to achieve impact.

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